The hustle and bustle of each day makes it difficult to slow down. Prioritizing your mental health can therefore take an occasional back burner to other priorities. However, your mental health is just as important as your physical health in supporting your success. Learn how to incorporate a meditative or spiritual practice into your life and see what benefits can result.
Improve Your Self-Esteem
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on individual self-esteem. This is because mindfulness involves recognizing your feelings without judgement. In a mindfulness session, you allow your thoughts to appear, acknowledge them, and let them go again. There is no pressure on what thoughts are “right” or “wrong.” The process of self-reflection cultivates awareness of your thought patterns and your positive qualities. It also helps you to be able to view passing thoughts objectively instead of getting sucked into damaging mental spirals.
Lower Your Stress
Beginning a meditative or spiritual practice isn’t just about making time for it. It often involves creating a physical space, too. Some people light candles or dim lights to bring focus to their breathing or a repeated mantra. As you continue your practice, you’ll discover what works for you. The comfort of that safe space and the stability of a mantra have been proven to reduce stress. Many feel that they are too busy for meditation, but setting aside just 15-20 minutes each day can help to clear your mind and prepare you for the day ahead. It may even improve your productivity, giving you more free time in the end.
Help Manage Anxiety
Mindfulness brings you into the present and is known to have amazing effects on mental health. It is often a recommended grounding technique for those who struggle with anxiety or panic attacks. Practicing your mindfulness meditation skills regularly can help you to maintain control in those more stressful moments. Spirituality has a similar effect in that it connects you to something higher than yourself. It is for these reasons that either path can reduce anxiety, as you are less focused on ruminating or rehearsing thoughts that lead to anxiety. Group settings, such as attending church online or joining a mindfulness session, also provide an external support system.
Create a Support Network
Every person needs people in their life who they can rely on for positive support. Spiritual groups can be a fantastic way to make new friendships and get to know people in your local area. If you just moved somewhere new or want to spend more time with others, these social gatherings can be a great option for you. It can also be a good way to bond with your existing friends and family. Spending time with family, sharing personal stories, and singing together can do wonders for your emotional well-being.
Increase Love and Kindness
The benefits of meditation and spirituality extend outwards. Cultivating tenderness to yourself through regular reflection improves your ability to be tender towards others. Metta is a specific kind of meditation that focuses on this. It’s also known as “loving-kindness meditation.” Through this practice, you’ll learn how to begin forgiving yourself before turning those feelings towards loved ones and even people you might have previously viewed as unlovable. Many spiritual traditions have similar tenants that encourage practitioners to see good in everyone they interact with.
Whether you decide to begin meditating or take a spiritual path, you’re actually advocating for yourself. It’s a daily routine that doesn’t need to take long, either. Just a few moments a day of repeating a mantra, meditating, or spending time with a sacred text leaves you refreshed and mentally healthy for whatever will come your way.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.